Christmas Jumpers

The wind creates chaos. Wind-chaos. It reminds me of when we had horses and how they’d race around the fields, kicking up their legs and whinnying. It was the wind, it got them agitated, excited. It’s a life thing. It is energising, bracing, but when it is too much like this morning there is a something ominous about it. I can see how people used to believe it was the gods punishing them. It was furious. No Prom-walking again.

So it was me and the students roaming through town. Screaming and hollering, they lurched through the streets their hands full with pizza boxes and plastic cartons of chips. Two girls, utterly blotto-ed were calling after a couple of lads in Christmas jumpers. Wait for us! they shouted. The boys filling their mouths with chips, muttered something and kept walking. The girls in fake fur coats skittled like bambis’ on ice their ankles keeling over under the strain of teetering heels. Then they kept on coming, lad after lad wearing a festive sweater. What is that all about? Has it gone beyond kitsch? Was there a prize on in one of the clubs, or a free beer for the worst sweater? Beyond the station a couple of boys were trying to climb some scaffolding while some girls screeched up at them. Wildness. Stop running, a lad shouted to his friend. Why do I have to accommodate? the friend shouted back. What a word. So formal. Why don’t you adapt to me? he said. Let’s meet in the middle, said the first lad, breathlessly trying to keep pace.

I was short-tempered. I don’t always know why. The bleeding continued but this time it was his thumb. It’s my role. Accept it with grace. It’s the stuff of love. Isn’t it?

I’m still hurting a little, mostly from┬áher silence. But I can let it go. It was nicer to wake up in my own bed. And be here. With him. And there is work. Always.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.